Thursday, August 30, 2007

Canada regrets - but I'm sure the Korean hostages don't

These are the guys who thought that Israel's massacre of Lebanese civilians in their last (undeclared) war and the effective mining of southern Lebanon with unexploded cluster bombs was a "measured response".

Excuse me if I don't think much of your judgement.

Canada regrets S. Korean handling of Afghan hostage crisis

So says the newly shuffled Foreign Affairs minister, the guy pulled from Quebec, appointed to the senate and then the cabinet, never elected by anyone, and then given the job to "sell the war" to Quebeckers.

"We do not negotiate with terrorists, for any reason," said a statement issued by Bernier's office.

"Such negotiations, even if unsuccessful, only lead to further acts of terrorism."
Bernier was shuffled into the Foreign Affairs portfolio this month and touted as an ideal point man for communicating with Canadians - especially Quebecers - about the mission in Afghanistan.

South Korea will pull its troops out, something it was going to do anyway, and will no longer allow its nationals to perform Christian missionary work in Afghanistan.

"...Under the deal reached Tuesday, South Korea reaffirmed a pledge it made before the hostage crisis began to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by year's end. Seoul also said it would prevent South Korean Christian missionaries from working in the Muslim country."
Other relief agencies in Afghanistan do not put their people in areas where there is open conflict or danger of kidnapping for purely practical reasons. It's not a feel-good jaunt for these people, but a measured and careful commitment.
"...McCort said CARE takes what it calls an acceptance and integration approach in Afghanistan and the other countries where it has a presence. Workers gain protection of local communities by keeping them informed and getting their acceptance. They also live in those communities and employ a lot of local staff."
"We don't need to change our practice because what they (the South Korean missionaries) did, we would never do," he said.

"If you look at what we do in terms of our acceptance and integration strategies, sending a busload of people down to Kandahar is neither of those . . . We feel that our staff and safety precautions are fairly good so we're not really looking at learning much from their experience."

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